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Antitrust Expert Spotlight: Gautam Gowrisankaran

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Gautam Gowrisankaran studies critical antitrust and competition issues, with applications in healthcare, energy, and high-tech goods, among other industries.

Professor Gowrisankaran has particular expertise in analyzing industries that are highly regulated and exhibit rapid technological change, as well as the markets in which prices are traded. His research has been influential as he succeeded in designing state-of-the-art methods to help answer complex and policy-relevant questions using state-of-the-art data.

Professor Gowrisankaran specializes in methods to better understand business behavior in industries where prices are negotiated between buyer and seller. Her award-winning co-authored paper, “Mergers When Prices Are Negotiated: Evidence from the Hospital Industry,” offers methods for estimating the impact of mergers on prices in such contexts, then applies these methods to assess the implications of mergers and political interventions in hospitals. markets. Professor Gowrisankaran’s work provides a tractable equilibrium framework and can be applied to other contexts with negotiated prices, which includes many business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

Professor Gowrisankaran’s research has been influential as he successfully devised state-of-the-art methods to help answer complex and policy-relevant questions using state-of-the-art data.

Professor Gowrisankaran’s co-authored paper, “Nash-in-Nash’ Bargaining: A Microfoundation for Applied Work”, lays the theoretical groundwork for the Nash-in-Nash model, which has become the workhorse of modeling real-world business competition and negotiation protocols. world settings. As prices are negotiated in most industries with B2B transactions and regulators have begun to focus on the impacts of mergers on all trading partners, not just consumers, this topic takes on increased importance in merger review.

Professor Gowrisankaran is also engaged in a research paper that contributes to our understanding of vertical interactions – and fills an important gap in antitrust policy – ​​by demonstrating that downstream firm market power can potentially counteract upstream market power. . Given the contributions of his research, Professor Gowrisankaran’s work has become widely used and cited in academic and judicial circles.

Professor Gowrisankaran’s research has also directly influenced policy-making. For example, his work evaluating insurance design, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has influenced the models used by policy makers to predict the impact of policy reform on health insurance coverage. His award-winning paper, “Absorbing the Sun: Battery Investment, Renewables, and Market Equilibrium,” provides a framework for policymakers to assess the benefits and costs of energy storage policies.

Professor Gowrisankaran has also submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) on their draft vertical merger guidelines. He and his co-authors discussed complex market interactions such as moral hazard, information asymmetry, two-step competition, and price negotiation that could complicate the analysis of “vertical” combination mergers.

Professor Gowrisankaran is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and a researcher at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR). He serves on the Health Advisory Committee of the United States Congressional Budget Office. He has consulted with the FTC and the DOJ Antitrust Division on multiple mergers.